Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blue Morpho Butterfly in Gum Paste

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It is the time of year for engagement parties.  Congrats to my nephew Bradley and his fiancee, Kristen.

Kristen is a fabulous artist and a lover of all creatures great and small.  Including BUGS and REPTILES.  Interesting girl.  For her last birthday I made her a cake in the shape of an angry Leaf Beetle, but for her engagement party she wanted a more traditional cake with roses and a large Blue Morpho Butterfly.

Honestly she is the artist and not me, so I tried to get her to make/paint the Morpho that would adorn the cake, but she didn't take the hint.  In the end I struggled and came up with something that was at least presentable.


I started out by cutting 4 individual gum paste wings using guides I made from wax paper.  I smoothed the edges of the gum paste, and then cut shallow lines to represent the markings on the Morpho's wings.  As a final step I inserted floral wire into the wings.


Here are the 4 wings waiting to be painted.


The Morpho butterfly is mostly blue with some iridescent teals and purples.  I started out paining the center section with some Wilton Teal food color gel.  I mixed a little bit of gel with some vodka and then just painted it on.


Next I added some AmeriColor Electric Blue


And finally I trimmed the edges in Wilton Black


Once the paint was dry, I used the embedded wires to twist the wings together.


And then I built a body on top of the wires.  I also added some sparkly gems to the edges to mimic the white spots on the Morpho's wings.


Then I painted the body black, and inserted some thin wire for the antenna.


Sadly, the twisted floral wires weren't strong enough to hold the butterfly wings together, so I had to use some hot glue to hold everything in place.  I also hot glued a wire loop on the back so I could hang the butterfly from the cake.

So here is the original sketch from the bride-to-be...


And here is the finished cake. She wanted the colors to be Coral and Turquoise.  In the beginning I thought it was a bold and inventive combination, but now I realize they are the trending colors.  <<I am so out of the loop.>>   I also added a few more flowers than her sketch showed.  I had some extra gum paste roses, and I felt bad about throwing them away and not using them on the cake.


So all in all it turned out well.   Congratulations Brad & Kristen. Ya'll make such a cute couple.


Happy Decorating,

Carol 


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Zesty Cucumber Tomato Sandwich - Most Popular Dish at the BBQ

Every year I have a big BBQ for the 4th of July: lots of beef, pork, and chicken!!  But a last minute addition of some vegans/vegetarians to the gathering had me scrambling for some non-meat dishes.  I found a recipe for some cucumber sandwiches that looked delish, and best of all it didn't require another trip to the grocery store.  Just bread, cucumbers, and a spread made of cream cheese and dry salad dressing powder.   At the last minute I added a sliced cherry tomato and a sprinkle of dill on top of the cucumber.

WOW!!!



Can I say it again...WOW!!  These little sandwiches were the hit of the BBQ!  Everyone loved them.  My refrigerator is stuffed with leftover meat, but not a single cucumber sandwich remained.




Zesty Cucumber & Tomato Sandwiches

Ingredients

1 (8oz) package of Cream Cheese, softened
1 (.7 oz) pack of dry Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
Dill, dried
French Bread, thinly sliced (1/4 inch) and then toasted

Directions
  • In a small bowl mix together soften cream cheese and dry salad dressing mix. 
  • Cut bread in 1/4 inch thick slices and then toast till the outside is a little crunchy. PS: I just used my bread toaster instead of the oven.  I was able to toast 8 slices at once.  PPS: the taste testers preferred the bread toasted to un-toasted.
  • Spread some of the cream cheese mix on top of the bread and add a slice of cucumber.
  • Put a dab of the cream cheese mix on top of the cucumber and then gently push one half of a cherry tomato into the dab of cream cheese.  The dab of cream cheese will keep the tomato from sliding off the cucumber!
  • Sprinkle the top with a little bit of dried dill
  • Enjoy